Diorama-Inspired Photos of Mongolian Nomads and the Effects of the Changing Landscape

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Korean photographer Daesung Lee’s Futuristic Archeology series, first spotted on Booooooom, places the spotlight on the desertification of Mongolia and its effect on Mongolian nomads. Juxtaposing a billboard that features an image of the landscape it is set in, Lee hopes to “accomplish a sense that the lives of these nomadic people occur between this reality and a virtual space of a museum” — suggesting that in the future, this aspect of Mongolian culture might only exist in a photograph. Lee advises that 35% of Mongols live a nomadic lifestyle and depend on the land for their survival. But nearly 850 lakes and 2000 rivers and streams have dried up, transforming 25% of the land into desert over the past 30 years. “Potentially 75% of Mongolian territory is at risk of desertification,” Lee writes. The diorama effect of the photos is striking, but the message is dire.

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​

Photo credit: Daesung Lee​